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panel session H2

Printing Beyond the Blackness Principle:
The Necessity of Multiple Subjectivites within
Black Masculine Discourse

Anderson Panel

FRIDAY MARCH 20, 3:30-5:00PM

Session Chair: Noel W. Anderson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Email: noel.anderson@uc.edu

A “sphere” is defined as a category or an infinite territory, paradoxically functioning within and beyond boundaries. Historically African American artists have negotiated stereotypical and archetypical spheres. As artists prompted and limited by external discourses on race, gender, and class authenticity, black artists continue to employ printmaking as a mechanism to navigate contentious and complex cultural and social territories. This panel invites proposals from diverse spheres that explore historical and contemporary uses of printmaking to redefine the parameters of black masculine subjectivities. This session expects to allow time to field audience questions and address such topics as: “sphere” as category, metaphor, and limits.
Presenter 1: Andrea Ferber, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, USA
Paper Title: "Politically Incorrect? Glenn Ligon's Challenge to Hegemonic Masculinity and Whiteness"

This paper examines the provocative work of Glenn Ligon, which presents viewers with unsettling terms, situations, and perspectives most would prefer to leave in the past. I draw from writings by Craig Owens, bell hooks, and Darby English to hypothesize a reception study focusing on how one's own identity factors into an understanding of and response to this artist's creative output.

Presenter 2: Leslie Smith III, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Paper Title: “I Dream Too Much”

Historically speaking, African American art thrives on a narrative structure, which simultaneously engages discourses of race, gender, and class. Within this frame many narratives fall short of universal perspectives. As a practicing contemporary African American artist I propose to present a lecture discussing my studio practice’s attempts to expand limited spheres of cultural, social, and political discourse. This lecture will provide access to a contemporary black male artist’s exploration of painting and printmaking as universal languages for human experiences. Audience members will gain intimate access to the permutations of representation as my research oscillates between aesthetical and philosophical dialectics: figuration/abstraction, subjectivity/objectivity, painting and printmaking, and narrative and its antithesis. Audience members will gain access to personal visualities as explored from a contemporary African American creative parallax.

Presenter 3: Didier Williams, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Paper Title: Not Provided

In order to destabilize the performance of gender as evincing sex and sexuality, my works are intentionally void of such indicators. Similar to science fiction viewers are forced to contend with corporealities dissociated through cloaking, patterning, and adornment. This presentation discusses personal explorations of masculinity and its vilified counterpart, femininity as flattened modes of material expression. Engaging in a cross-disciplinary material discourses I will provide territory to investigate greater concerns of gender making, as both paintings and prints become autonomous bodies of reaction.